måndag 10 januari 2011

[UPDATE] Turkey: Facebook removes accounts for human rights activists! [UPDATE]

As of yesterday most of the accounts closed have been reopened :

Press Release,


MorEl facebook group was closed in 28.12. 2010, but after our press release and the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) support letter, MorEl Eskisehir facebook group and most of MorEl Eskişehir volunteer’s profiles was opened yesterday. (http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=5587123343)

There are still a couple of our vounteer friends that have still closed profiles. We try to reach facebook management for that.

A short period of time due to the opening of our group thank you to everyone who supported us!

We always said and again, say: "We'll see!, We’ll hear!, We’ll speak!"

MorEl Eskişehir Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Formation
E-mail: morel.eskisehir@gmail.com

However, this is not the first, and most likely not the last, time Facebook has done this.
Facebook is the most visited site online today, larger even than Google and the reason why you and I can use it for free is directed advertisement that specifically targets you as a user. This can be a good thing. I often mark advertisements as offensive or unrelated because I think so but now I hardly ever see any ads because there are few marketeers who target my interests of human rights, feminism, lgbt, DIY, hacking, Linux .. the list goes on.
What if ..
  • .. there was a third gender on Facebook?
  • .. users demanded gender equality?
  • .. there was a large userbase of female users who love cars?
If I check the genderbox as male or female I get ads related to cars or lipstick according to the normative advertisements but if I don't check the genderbox I get strange combinations of both as well as not getting a lot of ads. This is because the marketeers aim their product and campain towards your interests as well as what's between your legs. This can be used for social change.
Every day we get bombarded with ads in media and public spaces that confirms stereotypes and our subconscious is, quite frankly, not clever enough to know the difference between ads and reality. As we get programmed according to gender norms by ads the ads become more normative to fit us. There's more to our understanding of reality ofcourse but this is just one example.
If we change advertisement and products must change in turn and it is in that gap, between the "gogetters" and the "conservative marketeers" that new markets grow and blossom, enriching our lifes rather than giving us the same old shiny stuff year after year .. but in a different package.
So go out there and complain! Tag the ads, change your genderstatusbox often, join fun and crazy groups and start new ones. Show the market how people really work!

Because social media is a power to be reckoned with but unless we, the users, can trust those who wield that power we are in effect living in a dictatorship subject to Mark Zuckerberg.

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